Collage of different spectra, structures and in the background an optical table with green laser light
Photo: apl. Prof. Michael Kumke

Applied Optical Sensors and Spectroscopy

The working group Applied Optical Sensors and Spectroscopy of apl. Prof. Michael Kumke focuses its research on lanthanides, which are used as luminescence probes in the life and environmental sciences as well as in clinical diagnostics in down shifting and frequency upconversion applications. In case of frequency upconversion, the electromagnetic radiation required for excitation is in the NIR range. In this area, water and other biological materials show only a low intrinsic absorption. Therefore, the potential for optically-based sensors with applications in the life and environmental sciences is outstanding. Special attention is hereby payed to the production of novel lanthanide-containing nanoparticles whose surface is modified with biomarkers. Other ongoing research projects include bio-inspired filter materials for lanthanide recovery, physico-chemical processes in the near and far field of repositories, nanoparticles for SOEC/SOFC applications, and the remote detection of leaks in hydrogen lines.

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Collage of different spectra, structures and in the background an optical table with green laser light
Photo: apl. Prof. Michael Kumke

Nanostructure of silver and DNA
Photo: Prof. Dr. Ilko Bald

Hybrid Nanostructures

The research of the working group Hybrid Nanostructures under the leadership of Prof. Ilko Bald combines different methods from DNA nanotechnology, optical spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy in order to study physico-chemical processes at the single-molecule level. The aim is to develop novel analysis methods for their application in different fields, such as the precise with nanomaterials. Apart from methods diagnostics using optical fibers modified development, specific questions such as nucleotide sequence dependence of DNA radiation damage and the mode of action of radionsensitizers that are applied in tumor radiation therapy are being investigated. Furthermore, chemical processes on the surface of plasmonic nanostructures that are triggered by electron transfer are analysed.

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Nanostructure of silver and DNA
Photo: Prof. Dr. Ilko Bald

Image of nanomaterial from Dr. Pacholski
Photo: Dr. Claudia Pacholski

Chemical Strategies for Functional Nano- Structures

The research group Functional Materials of Dr Claudia Pacholski aims to fabricate materials with new and exciting properties, that can later be used as optical sensors. The scientists of the group synthesize nanomaterials and investigate their chemistry as well as their optical properties. A special focus is on the preparation and self-assembly of inorganic nanomaterials in combination with polymers.

The team uses various methods and is interested in different areas of application. For example, through the action of energy new nanomaterials or nanostructures with unusual structural, electrical, optical or magnetic properties and functionalities can be generated. These form the basis

for the development of new materials and sensors.

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Image of nanomaterial from Dr. Pacholski
Photo: Dr. Claudia Pacholski

Gold-Nano star
Photo: Prof. Dr. Joachim Koetz

Superstructures with nanoparticles of defined shape and size

The research group of Prof. Joachim Koetz is dealing with the synthesis of nanoparticles of different shape and size and their application as sensor materials and for the surface- enhanced Raman spectroscopy for the detection of molecules and reaction mechanisms. The important thing here is the separation and isolation of anisotropic nanoparticles (nanotriangles and nanostars) and their surface modification. In addition to the self- organization of gold and magnetite nanoparticles, the research is focused on the insertion of these particles into Janus emulsions. This makes it possible to adjust the droplet size of stimuli-sensitive Janus emulsions, and respectively the pore sizes of the resulting aerogels. The ultralight magnetic aerogels can be used for purifying liquids (dye and oil layer separation).

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Gold-Nano star
Photo: Prof. Dr. Joachim Koetz
Growth of Pb islands in Si-rich areas within the wetting layer. Right: SFM topographic image. Left: corresponding KPFM picture
Photo: Prof. Dr. Regina Hoffmann-Vogel

Nanometer-scale imaging and measurements: Atomic Force Microscopy and Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy

The research team of Prof. Dr. Regina Hoffmann-Vogel, the Professor of Experimental physics of condensed matter at the University of Potsdam, aims to understand the relationship between atomic and mesocopic structures as well as electronic transport in nanostructures. To investigate these nanostructures, the research team uses atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy to conduct nanometer-scale imaging and measurements. To date, the group has successfully collaborated with several academic and industrial partners throughout Europe.

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Growth of Pb islands in Si-rich areas within the wetting layer. Right: SFM topographic image. Left: corresponding KPFM picture
Photo: Prof. Dr. Regina Hoffmann-Vogel